VICE PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru yesterday launched a university scholarship fund
at Africa University to provide tuition assistance to female students.
VP Mujuru, who is the patron of the scholarship, congratulated the United Methodist institution for coming up with the fund, saying its stance was in line with Government programmes of providing equal opportunities for all.
She said raising school and university fees was a serious challenge facing many families and thus the scholarship would greatly assist those in need.
VP Mujuru said Government highly valued education.
"The Government of Zimbabwe, through President Mugabe has always believed in the education of the Zimbabwean population," she said.
"Today, Zimbabwe boasts of having the highest literacy rate in Africa which stands at 93 percent and is also ranked highly in the world.
"Thousands now have degrees and are serving in various capacities in Zimbabwe and the Diaspora."
VP Mujuru said policies that emancipate the people should be promoted.
"It is important that Government continues to put in place and enforce laws, regulations and practices that eliminate social barriers inhibiting access to education by the girl-child," she said.
"The recently adopted constitution by our Government will help in the fight for gender equality in Zimbabwe. We must continue to consolidate our policies for total emancipation of our people through progressive enhancement of the position of the girl child in our society. However, we are all challenged to simultaneously consider practical means of raising alternative finances, just like Africa University has just demonstrated. This is why I am happy to be personally associated with this initiative."
VP Mujuru said men that were championing the cause of women like President Mugabe must be applauded.
She said the support she got from the President made her to be where she is today.
"I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all men working behind the scenes, supporting the cause for women and supporting Government policies and programmes, for without our counterparts, all these positive developments would not be possible," said VP Mujuru.
"I am a living example of the girl child who got a lot of training, guidance and support from President Mugabe, so are many women leaders here present.
"This co-operative spirit is what will lead to the creation of a future society that is gender balanced in all facets of life."
VP Mujuru said gender balance was central in educational development.
She said Africans should take pride and satisfaction in seeing that more girl children were in school and university because education is the foundation of inclusive growth and development.
Speaking at the same occasion, Higher and Tertiary Education acting minister Dr Ignatius Chombo urged other universities to follow suit and come up with programmes that support the girl child.
Several companies and individuals contributed funds to the scholarship at the launch and these included the Vice President's Office, Dr Chombo, Cde Didymus Mutasa, Zimpapers chief executive Mr Justin Mutasa, Chief Nyamukoho, Nicoz Diamond and Eco-Bank.
A six member board of trustees made up of Mrs Rebecca Mutyembizi, Dr Philemon Chikafu, Ms Irene Chibanda, Ms Sharai Muonwa and Mr Justin Mutasa and Mr William Bonyongwe will run the scholarship fund.